TaskForce SAS/SATA/IDE/USB/10Gb HDD Forensic
Atola TaskForce: A High-Performance Forensic Imager
Welcome to an insightful journey into Atola TaskForce, an impressive forensic imager that combines high performance, extensive capabilities, and user-friendly interface. The Atola TaskForce is designed for both working professionals dealing with undamaged media and experts facing the challenges posed by damaged media.
Exceptional Hardware and Software Capabilities
At its core, the TaskForce comprises a hardware unit and a user-friendly software platform accessible via Google Chrome. It operates in standalone mode and also supports simultaneous use by multiple operators within the same local network. Thanks to its web API, it facilitates automation of forensic imaging, paving the way for subsequent analysis with software like Magnet AXIOM, X-Ways, and Autopsy.
The Extensive Support for Storage Devices
The TaskForce's support for storage devices is notably extensive, accommodating SAS, SATA, USB, and IDE drives through 18 ports. Plus, other devices are catered to via Thunderbolt, Apple PCIe, and M.2 SSD extension modules. With such versatility, no storage device will be left uninvestigated.
Unmatched Forensic Imaging Capabilities
Multi-tasking Capabilities and Efficiency
Atola TaskForce houses an ultra-fast imaging engine, which, combined with its server-grade hardware, allows the initiation and management of over 12 parallel imaging sessions. This capability translates to an incredible 15 TB/hour cumulative speed of imaging and includes the Express mode feature, allowing imaging sessions to start immediately a device is connected.
RAID Configuration Autodetection and Imaging
The TaskForce incorporates fine-tuned RAID autodetection algorithms capable of reassembling RAID arrays with unknown configurations. This feature supports various RAID types and file systems and allows one-click application of a suggested configuration, partition preview, and RAID rebuilding even when a device is missing or damaged.
- identifies RAID type by reading data on connected drives
- runs through thousands of potential configuration variants
- one-click application of a suggested configuration
- partition preview for easy confirmation of successful assembly
- rebuild of RAID even with a missing or damaged device (for certain types of redundancy-enabled RAID)
Support for Damaged Drives
With the Atola TaskForce, even physically damaged hard drives and problematic solid-state drives can be handled with ease. Its design incorporates special imaging features and in-depth diagnostics that optimise settings and help retrieve as much data as possible from such drives.
- Imaging freezing drives
- Imaging drives with surface scratches and firmware issues
- In-depth drive diagnostics
- Selective head imaging
- Current sensor on all SATA, SAS/SATA, IDE ports
- Automatic overcurrent and short-circuit protection
- Segmented hashing for damaged drive image verification
Versatile Access and User Interface
Multi-user Access and Intuitive UI
TaskForce's user interface is highly intuitive and task-oriented, designed to accommodate investigators with varying levels of technical proficiency. It supports simultaneous operation by multiple users, and any operation can be launched within a couple of clicks or taps.
Operate the Taskforce using one of its Three Connectivity Options
- Via 10Gb Ethernet Network: TaskForce can be accessed from any device within the same local network by entering the IP address into Google Chrome. The IP address is conveniently displayed on the small screen in the front panel for easy access.
- Standalone Mode: In standalone mode, the compact system is perfect for fieldwork, with a beautiful built-in TaskForce touch screen at your disposal without needing any other computers.
- Remote Wi-Fi Connection :TaskForce can be equipped with a WiFi adapter in access point mode, setting up a secure network available for remote control via laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
TaskForce Forensic Imagers Notable Features
- Comprehensive Wiping Methods: TaskForce supports various wiping methods, including Pattern, Secure Erase, NIST 800-88, DoD 5220.22-M, Random, and LBA number. This feature ensures all needs and standards are met when it comes to data erasure.
- Hash Calculation and Control Features: The device provides hash calculation options for MD5, SHA1, SHA256, and SHA512. Additional control features such as HPA & DCO control and recovery and automatic report generation are also present.
- Robust Case Management System: Finally, TaskForce has an integrated case management system that helps in organizing and managing forensic cases efficiently.
- SMART viewing + recording it before and after image acquisition
- ATA password recovery
- Automatic report generation
- Case management system
Q: What is Atola TaskForce?
A: Atola TaskForce is a high-performance forensic imager that supports both good and damaged media.
Q: What types of storage devices does Atola TaskForce support?
A: It supports SAS, SATA, USB and IDE drives, and other devices via Thunderbolt, Apple PCIe, and M.2 SSD extension modules.
Q: What are the key features of Atola TaskForce?
A: Key features include multi-tasking capabilities, RAID configuration autodetection and imaging, damaged drive support, and a user-friendly interface.
Q: How can Atola TaskForce be accessed? A: It can be accessed via 10Gb Ethernet network, standalone mode, and remote Wi-Fi connection.
Q: What is the warranty on Atola TaskForce?
A: Atola TaskForce is covered by a lifetime warranty for as long as your subscription is active.
Forensic Technology Hardware
Constructed to facilitate numerous simultaneous imaging sessions and other forensics-related operations across its 18 ports at peak speed, the TaskForce hardware system incorporates highly resilient and high-capacity components. These include a server-grade motherboard, an 8-thread Xeon CPU at 3.7 GHz, and ECC RAM. The credibility and effectiveness of our tools are ensured through extensive testing on hundreds of different storage devices.
This hardware unit is engineered to accommodate a broad spectrum of digital investigations and can function both in a laboratory setting and in standalone mode.
Port Specification, Indicators & Controls
- 6 SATA
- 6 SATA/SAS
- 4 USB
- Extension slot (compatible with Thunderbolt, Apple PCIe SSD, and M.2 SSD extension modules)
There is a source/target switch on each of the 18 ports, which activates hardware write protection in source mode. This mode aids in securely connecting the drives under examination to TaskForce. The configuration of the TaskForce port is adaptable to your needs, serving as either a source or target. LED indicators are present for each port. A specific indicator lights up when the source mode is enabled.
The unit is equipped with two 10Gb Ethernet ports:
- In the lab, it can manage over 12 multiple imaging sessions via two 10Gb network connections.
- In the field, it collaborates efficiently with modern, portable NAS solutions.
- Other ports include Serial RS232, IDE power, VGA, RS-232, DC IN 24V.
The hardware unit supports hard drive interfaces like SATA I/II/III, SAS3 (12Gb), USB 2.0/3.0, and IDE.
TaskForce also accommodates flash card support via a card reader attached to any of its USB ports.
The primary display is the Microsoft Surface Pro 7/6/4 featuring a 12.3" PixelSense Display, a resolution of 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI), and 10-point multi-touch capabilities. The display can be detached from TaskForce if needed. Additionally, there is an OLED IP display (20x2 characters).
Physical / Environmental Specifications
Encased in aluminum, the unit has dimensions (including the screen) of 12x10x3 inches and a weight (including screen) of 4.5 lbs. The acceptable temperature range for operation is 0°C – 40°C for TaskForce and 0° – 35°C for the screen. Power consumption averages at 60 Watt, with a peak of 280 Watt. The supply voltage ranges from 100 - 240 VAC at a frequency of 50 - 60 Hz.
Internally, the hardware unit runs on Linux, operating a custom kernel. The control interface is a web-based TaskForce application. The unit comes with a removable NVMe SSD for managing internal case databases. An optional WiFi 802.11n 150 Mb/s adapter in access point mode for easy connectivity is available for purchase separately.
Forensic Hardware Unit Components
At its core, the TaskForce forensic hardware unit is a compact server-grade computer operating on Linux. But since neither BIOS nor the Linux kernel was originally designed to manage hard disk failures, Atola engineers have dedicated significant R&D to develop a customized, fine-tuned Linux kernel. This customized kernel overcomes these issues, handling damaged media effectively, and includes:
- High-speed DMA data transfers, at 500+ MB/s.
- Complete low-level control over SATA, USB, and IDE ports.
- Full native SATA support.
- Reset and SATA PHY control for the best handling of severely damaged hard drives.
- All BIOS and standard kernel functions are disabled.
Furthermore, TaskForce hardware incorporates Atola's unique circuitry for advanced drive power control:
- Current sensor for in-depth hard disk diagnosis.
- Automatic overcurrent and short-circuit protection.
- Overvoltage protection.
These features are crucial for the correct handling of damaged drives.
For example, low-level control of the SATA, SAS, USB, and IDE ports enables TaskForce to manage devices that do not properly initialize, have many bad sectors, or frequently freeze due to internal (mechanical) failures. SATA PHY control permits a frozen hard drive reset without a power cycle, thus saving time during imaging and reducing the risk of further hard disk degradation and failure. Current sensing allows TaskForce to diagnose a failed drive, even if it has electronic or mechanical damage.
Overcurrent protection identifies when the drive draws abnormal current and prevents further damage. The overvoltage protection circuit ensures that in the rare event of forensic hardware malfunction, the attached drives remain undamaged.
TaskForce hardware forensic unit is entirely controlled by software through the Chrome browser; hence, no Linux experience is needed to operate it.
Magnetic Screen Protector
The screen protector safeguards the TaskForce screen from physical damage during transit and facilitates rapid and easy packing of the unit.
Crafted from 2-mm thick aluminum, it is sturdy enough to protect the screen from scratches and breaks, yet lightweight and thin to avoid adding extra bulk to the device.
Five magnetic screws on TaskForce's upper panel facilitate swift and easy attachment of the lid. It can be removed just as easily with a careful pull.
This cover is included in the standard package with TaskForces assembled from September 2020 onwards. Customers with an active TaskForce subscription can request the complimentary cover by contacting our support and providing their unit's serial number and shipping address.
Please note that the only magnetic parts used are the magnetic screws. Although our tests have proven that they do not damage a drive, we advise against placing storage or other devices near the magnets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the TaskForce hardware system compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems?
A: Yes, the TaskForce hardware system seamlessly integrates with both Windows and Mac operating systems, ensuring versatile functionality in different forensic environments.
Q: Can TaskForce support multiple imaging sessions simultaneously?
A: Yes, TaskForce is engineered to facilitate multiple simultaneous imaging sessions, enhancing its efficiency in handling complex forensic tasks.
Q: How can I obtain the magnetic screen protector?
A: Customers with an active TaskForce subscription can acquire the complimentary magnetic screen protector by reaching out to our support team with their unit's serial number and shipping address.
Q: Are there any precautions concerning the magnetic parts used in TaskForce?
A: Though the magnetic screws used in TaskForce have been tested and confirmed not to harm drives, as a precaution, we recommend not placing storage or other devices near the magnets.
Q: Can TaskForce manage severely damaged hard drives?
A: Yes, TaskForce incorporates a customized Linux kernel and proprietary circuitry that empower it to handle severely damaged hard drives, including those with bad sectors or mechanical failures.